to sypport dd in pushing another child?

(61 Posts)
KhallDrogo Tue 22-Jan-13 18:46:18

In context...8 yo dd1 had a problem with an adult being over familiar. School was involved with warning him off, unwanted hugs from stranger. Motives a bit blurry, but think just inappropriate rather than anything sinister

So, we have had a number of talks about her being able to say 'no' to anyone if they are doing something she doesn't like, and I have made it clear she can shout and push.

Now...boy at school was fooling around, teasing and kissing her. She asked him to stop, he didn't. She pushed him and he fell over. She has been told off by teacher. She tried to speak to her own teacher about what happened, but she was told 'this isn't the time'

She is upset, but I have reinforced that she did the right thing. AIBU? AND WIBU to speak to the teacher and say that I will continue to support this?

I understand teachers are busy in the play ground and can't get involved in every little to-do; but she asked him to stop herself, teacher too busy/uninterested...

WorraLiberty Tue 22-Jan-13 18:51:27

Until you've found out exactly what happened, I wouldn't endorse her behaviour.

So of course you should speak to the teacher but leave telling them that you'll 'continue to support this', until you know what went on.

I remember your original thread and I'm glad that's sorted out but please be aware that kids don't always make the best judgement calls...and she can't just go about pushing people over if she feels slighted by them.

They may well have been playing kiss chase.

sannaville Tue 22-Jan-13 18:52:45

Yanbu. Boy should've stopped kissing her when told no. I would've supported my dd of same age. I'd speak to school about it.

cansu Tue 22-Jan-13 19:10:35

I don't think you should tell her it's always ok. Yes there will be times when it is ok to push but there are other ways to handle playground problems and walking away and to stand by the teacher would have worked just as well here. The teacher may not have had time to deal with it at the moment your dd wished to discuss why she had been told off. If everyone told their dc it was ok to push someone if they annoyed them then there would be plenty of aggressive behaviour in our playgrounds. So yes I think YABU and wrong to mix up ordinary playground issues with a potentially more serious issue. If you are concerned that your dd is being harassed by a boy at school then call and make them aware of it.

Bakingtins Tue 22-Jan-13 19:12:08

I'd do the same, and I'd want to speak to the teacher concerned about how the boy involved was disciplined. I think pushing someone away who is giving you unwanted attention, that if an adult did it would be considered a form of sexual assault, is completely reasonable. Particularly since she's recently had to deal with unwanted adult attention - perhaps the teacher involved wasn't aware of that bit, but they should be reinforcing that she is allowed to enforce her boundaries.

InNeedOfBrandy Tue 22-Jan-13 19:16:09

I remember your other thread, glad that's all been resolved hope your still friends with the mum.

You did the right thing IMO backing her up on this.

yohohoho Tue 22-Jan-13 19:17:09

She can't enforce her boundaries by pushing people when she thinks is appropriate, tbh. Although I understand why she did.

Speak to the teacher and make sure you have the whole story and work out a plan with your dd and her teacher about how she should handle this situation, without pushing other children. I am sure you and her would feel awful is she injured a child.

KhallDrogo Tue 22-Jan-13 19:18:32

Thanks for your replies

You've got a good memory worra smile

cansu I do see what you are saying....I'm just not sure she should be doubting her right to defend her boundaries. I don't think the onus should be on her to differentiate on when its ok and when its not. She didn't thump the boy, she could have.

It's not ok to push someone for being annoying...but touching and kissing??

My priority is on teaching my dd to keep herself safe. I think the focus should be on the boys mother to teach him to lay off when told to?

manicbmc Tue 22-Jan-13 20:17:49

I think the school should be concentrating on making sure that boy knows that if a girl (or anyone else) says no then he stops making his advances.

If he had stopped when asked he wouldn't have been pushed.

Crawling Tue 22-Jan-13 20:26:59

I understand and think given the circumstances id do the same but have a chat to the teacher and with dd so that she knows when its acceptable and what is not.

CloudsAndTrees Tue 22-Jan-13 20:28:22

I think you need to make sure you know exactly what the boy was doing. Is there a chance your dd exaggerated what he was doing because she knew that you would defend her and say it was ok for her to push?

I don't think you should be defending her. Pushing was not the first things she should have done, and if she pushed enough that she was told off for it, it was probably quite a shove. She could have told him no again first, she could have walked away, she could have shouted at him, she could have shouted for a teacher or a friend. In a playground situation, those things would have been better than a shove.

But most importantly, you need to trust the school to deal with it as they will have a better idea of what happened than you do, no matter how much you believe your dd.

cansu Tue 22-Jan-13 20:28:55

If touching and kissing is involved then you should speak to the school as the child concerned needs to be spoken to firmly by staff so they can explain why it is not acceptable. In this situation I would tell my dd to turn around walk straight to the teacher and report it.

poppy283 Tue 22-Jan-13 20:34:42

Yanbu, if the boy wouldn't leave her aloneand she couldn't walk awaythen pushing him away is completely acceptable imo.

I'd tell Dd the same when she's older, and ds for that matter.

mrsjay Tue 22-Jan-13 20:35:13

It isnt always Ok to push somebody really I dont think you should encourage it as she may think she can push anybody who is annoying her I would speak to the teacher about it, incidently is this the same girl who a dad was hugging her at breakfast club ?

KhallDrogo Tue 22-Jan-13 21:36:35

Yes mrsjay that is dd. Wow, you all have really good memories, I have name changed since then!

cloudsandtrees yes, I hope it was 'quite a shove'. If she's going to do it, it needs to be effective. It wasnt her first line of defence, she asked the boy to stop. I agree, that there are other intermediary steps she could have taken. But, in preperation for life, I am happy for her to by-pass them in these circumstances

She is a tall-tale teller. It's possible her version of events is not accurate. But, she isn't an aggressive or violent child, I've not known her hit/shove etc before. And given recent events, she may be hyper-sensitive. But equally, those concerns are pretty valid anyway, hyper sensitive or not.

redbobblehat Tue 22-Jan-13 21:40:54


well done on teaching her to stand for herself

good job op

Viviennemary Tue 22-Jan-13 21:43:47

I think she did do the right thing. Of course she should push somebody like that away and push hard. I think you should go into the school and speak to the teacher though in case of any further incidents.

StuntGirl Tue 22-Jan-13 21:48:27

It doesn't matter whether it was a game or not. No means no.

I would probably discuss other available options with her, such as walking away, getting a teacher, etc, just so she doesn't feel like her options are "put up with unwanted behaviour or get violent". It's important you're teaching her to recognise her own boundaries and defend her right to protect those boundaries.

Have you found out the exact circumstances and context? Was it a game?

KhallDrogo Tue 22-Jan-13 21:56:04

She said the boy was playing, laughing and not being nasty. He was 'chatting her up', telling her she was beautiful/has nice hair etc etc. But she didn't want to play and told him so and moved away repeatedly. She doesn't like being kissed at all, not even by me. So, I can imagine that was her final straw

YANBU he wouldn't stop touching/kissing she shoved him.
I taught my boys similar, don't let anyone push you around, no one is aloud to touch you if you have said no, and never throw the first punch.
They never got in trouble for standing up for themselves, Ds 2 was the only one who ever threw a punch and the only after he was sucker punched first, other kid went down like a sack of potatoes and was given a suspension, turns out Ds wasn't the first to be attacked.
Dd is 8 I have told her the same but not sure it actually sunk in.

MammyKaz Tue 22-Jan-13 22:10:02

You totally did the right thing, as did your DD. We need to teach our children respect for each other AND themselves. IMO it is more important that children are taught to recognize & respect boundaries & to back off if attention is unwanted, otherwise.....
Well done for instilling self respect In your DD.
The school should be informed & indeed all the facts assessed & any follow up taken as necessary but I absolutely wouldn't make your DD feel regret for standing up for herself. I would have an issue that a teacher wasn't available to a child in need - shouldn't they be able to identify when a child asks for help that it's deserving of attention?

worridmum Tue 22-Jan-13 22:57:45

YANBU in my opinion I did the same thing when a 10 year girl did that to my DS who had only just turned 8. As I belive everyone has the right to defend there boudries.

What also annoyed me massivily was the teacher when i mentioned i was concrened with what happened had the cheek to suggest i should teach my son that he should never ever hit / push / get phyiscal with a girl full stop my jaw just dropped am all for the femmist cause and all but I wouldnt want anyone to feel like the couldnt defend themselves just because they are male and the attacker is female.

This is from a past event where my DB was left in hospital because a gang of drunkern girls attacked him on a night out and he wouldnt defend himself because they were females he was left with alot of broken bones and couldnt work for nearly a year and only 3 of the 5 attackers went to prison because the other 2 had children. It is sooo agrivating had his attackers all been male they all would of been sent to prison but just because they are female shouldnt excuse them from the conquences of their actions and i worry for their children.

(sorry for bad spelling am dyslixica and on a phone without a spell checker. first post from a long time lurker I thought i should post as something similear happened to my child)

MidniteScribbler Tue 22-Jan-13 23:11:15

She should not be supported in using physical violence. She should be encouraged to walk away and find a teacher or trusted adult and ask them for help. You cannot condone physical violence. If the push doesn't work, does she get to then punch? Stab? Push him in front of a car? No, she needs to learn to deal with the situation appropriately by walking away and seeing a teacher.

I would however be taking it up with the school and expecting that the boy be spoken to about his behaviour and warned that it is not appropriate and for staff to keep a closer eye on the students to ensure it doesn't happen again.

Greensleeves Tue 22-Jan-13 23:17:57

I think the school need to be doing some work on personal boundaries and appropriate behaviour, with all of the children. It really isn't OK for her to be touched or kissed by anyone if she doesn't want it.

Having said that, I would have told her that if another child is bothering her, she needs to use words first - firmly and clearly "Stop it, I don't like it" or similar. And she needs to know that the teachers and HT will back her up if she needs support to stop another child from behaving inappropriately with her.

I see your point of view completely but the school can't just condone children pushing one another over. She needs other strategies to use first

(and then if the boy doesn't leave her alone and the staff don't make him, she can push him over!)

Lovecat Tue 22-Jan-13 23:18:51

YANBU. The boy should be pulled up about his behaviour and I would also be questioning the school about the teacher's response. What kind of a lesson is it for her when her 'no' is not taken seriously and she is not allowed to give her side of events to the teacher who didn't want to know?

Whilst I don't agree with physical violence, if someone will not leave you alone despite having been asked to, and the teacher doesn't want to know, I think a push to get him out of her face was not excessive and I really don't see it leading to her going on a killing spree (as MidniteScribble seems to assume it will...).

OP, your DD has the right to not be touched or bothered and she should not be afraid to stand up for herself. Good for her (and you).

SamSmalaidh Tue 22-Jan-13 23:24:09

If someone won't leave her alone and she can't get away, then pushing and shouting is fine (and should be encouraged).

I agree with others who have suggested you give her some alternative responses - shouting, walking away, finding a teacher.

But if she can't get away or is feeling threatened or frightened then a hard shove is a perfectly appropriate approach.

KhallDrogo Tue 22-Jan-13 23:25:23

scribbler I would expect her to stop at a punch at school age

My intention is to equip her with skills and confidence to deck anyone, in self-defence as she gets older

DeepRedBetty Tue 22-Jan-13 23:31:24

If any boy had started 'chatting her up', telling her she was beautiful/has nice hair etc etc. ' with either of my dds when they were eight they would have been laughed at, and then shoved across the playground a damn sight harder than yours did

You need to find out exactly what the teacher thinks happened, and if necessary remind her why your dd even more than most children needs support about what's appropriate contact and what isn't.

Greensleeves Tue 22-Jan-13 23:33:47

but the school should be actively teaching the children that they have sovereignty over their own bodies and that they should be respecting others' personal space

if this isn't happening, I would ask the Head what they intend to do about it.

jjuice Wed 23-Jan-13 00:12:51

Yanbu both my dd and ds are armed with jujitsu skills after my ds was bullied by a group of kids including girls for over 12 months.
Although I have warned them about appropriate use. To me touching and kissing after saying no is appropriate use for pushing away. If a man did that to me I wouldn't push him away I would body drop him and punch his lights out.

jjuice Wed 23-Jan-13 00:13:29

Btw Love the name op. Game of thrones hmm

mrsjay Wed 23-Jan-13 08:48:43

he said the boy was playing, laughing and not being nasty. He was 'chatting her up', telling her she was beautiful/has nice hair etc etc. But she didn't want to play and told him so and moved away repeatedly. She doesn't like being kissed at all, not even by me. So, I can imagine that was her final straw

you know what reading this she did the right thing and so did you, I would talk to her about not just pushing anybody IYSWIM, but this was unwanted advances she was right to stand up for herself,

I wasn't stalking you by remembering your thread but sometimes things stick in memory smile

You definitley did the right thing and so did dd.
my dd has has done martial arts and boxing since age 10.
I fully expect her to use these skills if anyone is touching/kissing her against her will after she has told them to stop.
I would also expect her to shout very loudly and draw as much attention to herself as possible.

Surely we are supposed to teach our children that no one has a right to touch or kiss you after you say no? And if they don't listen to act to defend themselves?

I'd be having a word with the school, she should have been given the time to explain the situation to the teacher and the teacher should have dealt with the boys behaviour.

Well done for teaching her that no one has the right to touch her or kiss her against her will and giving her the confidence to act on that.
She is very lucky to have your support.

And the OP said she tried to tell the teacher but she didn't want to listen. That's not going to give her any confidence in going to that teacher again is it?

Grumpla Wed 23-Jan-13 09:09:59

My mum always told me that if anyone touched my body inappropriately I should kick them in the goolies, and run away shouting. If it was a grownup, I should headbutt them in the goolies, and then run away shouting. I always felt that was fairly good advice but maybe I am in the minority here.

I think you definitely need to query with the teacher the reason that this behaviour has not been stamped on way before it got to the point that it did.

In your position I'd be fairly apoplectic with rage irritated that sexual assault seems to have been dismissed as "boys will be boys" or whatever and a single shove to get away has been punished.

boredSAHMof4 Wed 23-Jan-13 09:32:51

I am just wondering if this boy has a SN.It doesn't seem normal an 8 yr old boy telling a girl her hair is nice and trying to kiss her.Most boys that age think girls are icky and would have their eyes poked out rather than kiss one!!

mrsjay Wed 23-Jan-13 09:35:01

am just wondering if this boy has a SN.It doesn't seem normal an 8 yr old boy telling a girl her hair is nice and trying to kiss her.Most boys that age think girls are icky and would have their eyes poked out rather than kiss one!!

a lot of boys are like this nowadays they all want to 'ask out girls' etc kids are growing up far too fast ime I dont think SN has to come into this really, (girls talk about boys at 8 )

boredSAHMof4 Wed 23-Jan-13 09:48:26

we must be a bit backward where we are then lol! Girls might talk about boys (a bit) but boys are definitely not interested in anything like that at all

mrsjay Wed 23-Jan-13 09:49:37

maybe not all boys obviously when dd was that age boys were talking about asking girls out I was shock as I thought boys at that age were all eww about girls,

KhallDrogo Wed 23-Jan-13 09:57:49

I'm confident that the boy doesn't have any SN. I only know him vaguely, but he appears NT. He has been lovely, anytime I've spent with him. I don't think his behaviour is unusual at all, I imagine he just got a bit exuberant

Thanks for the reassurances. Sometimes I find it hard to trust ny judgement completely. Especially given recent events. And I was raised to be quite a 'just play nicely, don't make a fuss' kind of way. Bur then its taken me years to realise I am justified in setting my boundaries and defend them. I want my dcs to know this from the start

Branleuse Wed 23-Jan-13 10:01:56

i would have supported my dd here too

CrapBag Wed 23-Jan-13 10:06:21

I remember your previous thread and the outcome. Glad that is sorted.

I think given that she told the boy to leave her alone and he didn't means that she did the right thing in pushing him away. She is learning that she doesn't have to put up with something she doesn't like, hopefully he is learning that when someone says stop then they mean stop (and I don't just mean in a male/female type situation but in general).

WilsonFrickett Wed 23-Jan-13 10:33:44

I would definitely go into school and discuss it. If nothing else, it sounds like there should be some class discussion about respect.

My DS has SN and is a target for bullies, however I believe that physical violence is wrong, every time, so I don't teach him to push. I teach him to say no, shout no, then find a teacher. I think you are 100% right to empower DD to respect her own boundaries but I don't believe she should use force to do this - particularly as it's a strategy that won't work for her in the future and may even escalate things in later life. For eg, 10 years down the line and this happens with a drunk bloke in a bar, pushing him will escalate the situation and inflame it. There are better choices to be made to protect yourself IMO.

KhallDrogo Wed 23-Jan-13 11:03:42

My intention is that she will be capable of breaking bones in 10 years time

I disagree, I think physically defending yourself is OK

Goldmandra Wed 23-Jan-13 11:13:16

As adults we are permitted to use reasonable force. It seems logical for children to be taught to do the same.

If she was able to stop him from holding her/kissing her by turning around and walking away, preferably to tell a teacher, she should have done that.

If he was strong enough to stop her from walking away or had her cornered and it was the only way to get his hands off her she did the right thing.

No child is likely to get a teacher's attention by shouting in a playground unless the teacher is already watching them. You have to shout just to have a conversation when you are a few inches away!

If my DD told me that she had asked him to stop and he was preventing her from getting away I would back her to hilt in pushing him off.

The school needs to have an assembly on using their hands appropriately.

sometimes you have no option other than to defend yourself physically.

gymmummy64 Wed 23-Jan-13 11:31:59

I had a somewhat similar incident with my DD. She whacked the boy involved who promptly went and told a teacher. My DD was hauled into the head's office. Head's (understandable) position was that the school has zero tolerance on physical violence between children or children to adults so although she agreed my DD had been severely provoked and understood the reasons for my DD's frustration, she couldn't condone the behaviour. The rules are to seek out an adult rather than retaliate physically.

I can completely see why the school has to give this message - they can't be picking and choosing between 'acceptable' violence and 'unacceptable' violence.

However, I think this system breaks down when the kids' experience of 'seeking out an adult' is so bland and unhelpful. Most of the time they seem to get brushed off and sent back to play.

BarbarianMum Wed 23-Jan-13 11:41:39

I like Goldmantra's post but that is quite complicated for a child to judge so I wouldn't particularly blame her for getting to pushing earlier (assuming the boy in question wasn't 4 or something).

It may be worth showing her how to push people away firmly but gently. We are having to do this with ds2 (5) as one of the little girls in his class is rather over-affectionate with him, which he hates, and won't stop when asked. Her mum thinks it cute and he should be grateful hmm. But she is half his size so obviously he can't send her flying.

YorkshireDeb Wed 23-Jan-13 11:45:58

I think you are right to teach her to defend her boundaries but if she is going to do this with physical force she needs to be prepared to accept the consequences too. From a school perspective they cannot condone a child pushing another so hard that they fall over - what if he'd hit his head on something hard as he fell? The children who get into most fights at school are often children who say "mum/dad tells me if someone hits me I should hit back" as they are unable to distinguish between a physical attack & an accidental bump from someone not looking where they're going. I try to tell my pupils that if they tell me what someone has done there's only one person in the wrong & I can tell off that person but if they hurt that person there's two people in the wrong & I have to deal with them both. As a parent I intend to teach my ds to stick up for himself but I'd also like him to accept the consequences of his actions. X

WilsonFrickett Wed 23-Jan-13 11:54:54

My intention is that my DS doesn't do that, but clearly we're on different paths. All I will say is don't expect school to back you up on that one. It is extremely difficult for them to give out a message that there's zero tolerance of violence except when someone thinks it's acceptable.

Butterycrumble Wed 23-Jan-13 11:58:22

Non of our children should need to use violence or aggression and there are other strategies which should be taught as first response BUT the message that low level sexual assault is something that only merits a word not a physical reaction is wrong too.

I would respect the school's zero tolerance policy whilst being pleased my dd was confident to enforce her physical boundaries when necessary.

IMO compliance is a bigger danger to your daughter especially when older. The argument that a physical response could escalate the conflict is the logic that empowers the aggressor.

The argument that you shouldn't fight back when older because you could escalate the assault is an argument that favours the aggressor. Sadly this all starts in the playground, in later life most incidents are opportunistic luck pushers rather than overwhelmingly violent attackers who we couldn't repel. I broke the nose of one horrible man who tried to assault me, transpired he had been groping and assaulting some other friends for a while. Am delighted I disabused him of the notion it was behaviour that would be accepted.

MammyKaz Wed 23-Jan-13 12:21:37

Actually I'm now getting a little exasperated that the focus is primarily on your DDs actions & what she should have done instead. What about this boy??? What are the consequences that he is having to accept for his inappropriate behavior towards her??? If he didn't make her feel threatened he wouldn't have been pushed - this is where focus should be & the education needs to begin.
My DD isn't school age yet but she will be taught NOT to accept unwanted or threatening attention & take responsibility for making it clear it is unwanted - even if that results in pushing. This I hope will help see her right through her life. Otherwise we're in danger of breeding a generation of doormats that will always need an "authority" figure to deal with things on their behalf.

WilsonFrickett Wed 23-Jan-13 12:32:46

To be fair Mammy the question was AIBU to support DD's behaviour to the teacher. Lots of people have said one of the reasons the OP should speak to the teacher is so the boy's behaviour can be dealt with and the standards expected generally can be discussed.

Narked Wed 23-Jan-13 12:33:56

I'd be fine with what your DD did. She told him to stop, she moved away, he didn't stop.

I'd ask the school what their policy is on protecting children from this. What's the point in zero tolerance of pushing, hitting etc when they seem to tolerate other unwanted physical contact.

KhallDrogo Wed 23-Jan-13 19:03:23

I have spoken with her class teacher

She was of the opinion that;

1) dd should have been allowed to give her explanation of why she pushed and the boy needed an explanation of respecting personal space/boundaries

2) dd needs to feel safe and protected in school

She spoke to dd to this effect in my presence and said she would talk to her again tomorrow.

I said I appreciated that teachers are busy and it must be hard to ne involved in all the disputes every day AND that dd should have gone to a teacher before pushing. But that I would back her up if she felt that was her only option. Dds teacher is very professional and diplomatic and didn't challenge me on that

I'm very happy with her response

Goldmandra Wed 23-Jan-13 19:18:33

Good outcome I think smile

mrsjay Wed 23-Jan-13 19:20:13

yes it was a good positive outcome

cansu Wed 23-Jan-13 20:15:29

Ok let's imagine this scenario. A boy reports that your dd has been following him around and even pinched his bum whilst laughing and saying she fancied him. The boy pushes your dd over and she is upset and crying. What would you reaction be when the school tells you the boy was right to push your dd because she was hassling him? honestly, would you think it was ok?

KhallDrogo Wed 23-Jan-13 20:27:10

i have thought about that alot cansu, because my motivation is definitely in preparing dd for life as a woman and avoiding/dealing with sexual assault/abuse from men...

1) i dont think the school are saying its ok that dd shoved the boy. she was told off for that. however the teacher is saying that the boys behaviour needs dealing with and that dd should feel she can go to a teacher.

i think that teacher just avoided getting into that conversation with me

2) i would actually think it was justifiable if dd was pushed in the scenario you describe. She does respect other peoples personal space/boundaries. I would be shocked and cross if I heard that she had been doing what you describe. I know dd would pack it in if asked, so it wouldn't escalate to her being pushed.

I think a 'push' is very different to a thump

Goldmandra Thu 24-Jan-13 08:20:39

If Khall's DD had hold of the boy in such a way that he couldn't walk away from her to tell a teacher he would be perfectly right to push her.

It's about using the minimum force necessary to stop the behaviour which is upsetting them.

That isn't a complicated principle for an 8 year old to understand.

Morloth Thu 24-Jan-13 10:11:29

If someone was trying to kiss/touch me and I had asked them not to, I would not hesitate to use violence to get them to stop.

I have taught my DSs that their bodies are theirs, more girls should be taught this.

If MY DSs were pinching someone's bum and had been asked to stop and they continued, I would think a shove is possibly the best thing they could hope for.

Stop when you are asked and you don't get shoved, not that complicated.

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